Originally Posted by VANDOO
I PERSONALLY PREFER THE EXAMPLES WITH NO PAINT ON THE HANDLE MY FAVORITE BEING YOUR EXAMPLE WITH THE 2 TIGERS.
1. IS THIS PAINTED FORM OF DECORATION ONLY IN JAVA OR DOES IT EXTEND TRADITIONALLY TO OTHER AREAS ?.
2. WHAT IS THE SIGNIFIGANCE OF THE BLACK AND WHITE CHECKERED PATTERN SEEN ON ONE OF YOUR EXAMPLES?. I HAVE SEEN THIS SEVERAL TIMES BUT DON'T KNOW ITS MEANING.
3. SOME SMALL DESIGNS ON A FEW OF YOUR EXAMPLES HAVE WHAT MIGHT BE SORT OF A COAT OF ARMS. THE ONE MOST OFTEN REPRESENTED HERE HAS A STAR, THE SUN, HALF MOON AND PERHAPS THE EARTH IT KIND OF LOOKS LIKE A HANDGRENADE
I HAVE 2 PICTURES OF THESE PAINTED KERIS I CAN POST HERE TO ADD TO THE POST IF YOU WISH BUT WILL NOT UNLESS YOU APPROVE. THANKS FOR POSTING THESE THE ART WORK IS IMPRESSIVE.
I'm sure Alan will have some interesting things to say, but let me share with you my limited knowledge as well.
1. I have seen some examples of Balinese painted sheaths. Apart from Java and Bali, I have never seen any.
2. I believe this pattern is known as poleng and expresses the necessity of balance between all opposing forces, such as day and night, good and evil, hot and cold, etc.
3. This is the coat of arms of the Surakarta keraton, specifically of the Pakubuwono line. I'm not sure as to the exact symbolism but I do know the coat of arms also includes a nail in the earth and this is also the meaning of Pakubuwono (Paku=nail, buwono=earth, realm). This signifies the keraton being the centre of the universe and civilization.